Throughout November, I (tried to) write a diary entry every day. It was kind of my personal NaNoWriMo, although I definitely never wrote 1500 words and got only 22 entries out of 30 days. I don’t even know what NaNoWriMo stands for.
Anyways, I’m not going to upload all of them cause some are fairly boring, but here are a few from the second week.
I love watching the birds from my windowsill.
There are big black ravens, blue-white magpies, and this morning I discovered another tiny, brown-feathered kind of bird hopping around on the twigs just next to my window. The ravens appear to be the Goliath in the little space between our block of houses and the next one. They wait for the magpies to pick up twigs and leaves and then, they spread their black wings and drop down towards the ground. The magpies scatter in all directions and gather beside a pile of leaves, while the raven prances up and down the pavement.
I often mistake the tiny, brown birds for leaves, when they plunge towards the ground from a tree. They’re falling straight down so fast that only when they catch themselves a few centimeters away from the ground I notice they’re actually birds.
There’s also a squirrel nagging on the tree overgrown with moss. I can see it right out of my window, climbing higher and higher with its white belly into the treetop. Another tiny bird drops unchecked towards the ground. One might think they’re on a kind of suicide command, until they spread their wings to ward off the free fall just before they hit the pavement.
As they slowly loose their leaves, the trees look brittle and barren now, like a human slowly going bald. I actually don’t plan to live here for longer than when my flat mate moves to Spain in February, but I wish I could see the trees growing leaves again spring.
There’s so much life just outside my window, just a few meters above the pavement.
It’s so weird that for the squirrel, the magpie, the raven, the swan down by the canal, nothing has changed, it’s just another grey winter like any year. They’re unaware of a pandemic that has nearly the whole world in its tight grip. Makes me think of big things happening outside the realm of my awareness.
Football is like… the best thing in the world.
I just had an ultra-throwback to my childhood when I watched the last half hour of a match (Germany – Ukraine) with my dad. Watching 22 men run (rather half-heartedly, playing without an audience must suck) across a pitch while dad makes know-it-all comments on their game is like time travelling. Even my mum took part in the throwback theatre, as she came up the stairs just after the match like she always did, to tell us how she always sides with the looser.
Football… dirty stirrup socks, sweaty backs, missed passes, throw-ins, panting, shouting, trying your best but it’s never enough, tired legs, total exhaustion. I think football was so great because besides teaching me team spirit, it connected me to people from different levels of society. I never came across people who went to a lower school, neither did I have friends with a migratory background. Football training was the only place where I met kids that were not white middle class, well-educated, sheltered, well-adjusted.
Watching football today also brings back memories of old TV adverts: they were for social insurances and beer mostly (because that’s all that Germans really care about).
There were so many things that I did not understand at that time: the UEFA is a corrupt association, teams win because they can afford to buy the best players, and the best teams in the world (France, England, Spain) happen to be the ones with the greatest GDPs in the western world.
But to me, football was a simple and fun game, it was everything to me, although I never admitted to that. But I played football three times a week on the pitch, I played with my brother in the garden, I played in the school sports class, I kicked a ball around with my friend at the church square until it was too dark to see anything. I watched football on the weekends, I scanned the newspaper sports section just for football gossip, I read anthologies of world cups that had long since been over, books that I read and the movies I watched were all about football.
The world cup 2006 in Germany was like the greatest gift I could have been given. I was 9 years old, I had just joined the girls team in the football club, and the summer stood in the name of nothing else but football. My brother and me painted our cheeks with golden-red-black wax crayons and sat as if spellbound in front of the small grey TV in our living room. The Italians kicked out the Germans, and we both cried the whole evening. My father wiped away our tears and told us, that’s life, and that there would be more world cups to come. And more world cups were to come, and Germany was to win eight years later in Rio de Janeiro. But I would never feel that pure and that innocent joy about a game like I did in that summer.
Last night when I was coming home from work, a policeman asked me if I was dreaming. This is how it happened:
I cycled along the lake under the night lights by the side of the road and suddenly noticed blue light flickering next to me. A police car stopped just a few meters ahead of me, so I paused the music I was listening to and stopped as well. The policeman stuck his head out of the window and barked at me:
“What’s up with you? Are you dreaming? The lights back there were bright red.”
Bright red was not only the color of the traffic lights (apparently, I hadn’t noticed anything at all), but also the color of my face. My knees started trembling, and I murmured:
“Yes… I’m sorry. I didn’t see it. I’ll never do it again.”
The face of the policemen grew softer, and he asked where I was going to, still wasn’t satisfied when I answered “home”, he wanted the exact location, and then finally let me go, after wishing me a safe trip back home. He also told me it was good that I was protecting the environment by taking my bike, and then rushed off in his blue flickering car.
Being back in Hamburg feels so good. The weather is nasty as it’s always been (and always will be).
My friend and me met at the harbor last night, where the harsh wind blew through my thin rain jacket, and the cold crept under my finger nails and paralyzed my wrists and my ankles. She had the close-to-perfect Corona Outdoor kit in her bag: a flask with mulled wine, two blankets, a sweater, a pack of chocolate with two pieces left, and a music box. We did the same thing this morning, when we bought bread, hummus and a sort of green cake that tasted like rabbit food in a Persian bakery and sat down under a bridge at her Campus. The looks people gave us when they passed by were half admiring (Who could complain about the youth not taking the virus serious?) half compassionate (It’s about 5 degrees, drizzling and terribly windy. In a slightly different setting, these two would be considered homeless).
I wished I could be by myself in a Siberian Forest, or a Portuguese village by the coast, or an abandoned log somewhere in the mountains, instead of in my tiny room, in which the empty walls beg me to decorate them with pictures from more exciting times.
I’m getting used to the bleakness around me. At least it’s not bleak inside of me. All my emotions are so simple and distinct. I think didn’t feel as much as I do these days in a long time.